Union hopeful staff will be spared

IPSWICH'S 200 QR employees were afraid for their futures yesterday but union bosses believe they have reason to be confident.

Transport Minister Scott Emerson ordered QR to find savings within staff ranks, beginning with the long list of executives and managers on its books.

The number of job cuts could reach 2200.

But Rail, Tram and Bus Union secretary Owen Doogan hoped the operational nature of the majority of Ipswich employees would save them from getting sacked.

Mr Doogan said the use of consultants and contractors had effectively duplicated resources already employed by QR.

"Our understanding is QR has been responsible for starting to use an awful amount of consultants and contractors when they have employed staff to carry out those functions," he said.

Mr Emerson said yesterday that QR executives, marketing and communication staff would be the focus of forced savings and a focus on delivering frontline services.

"Queensland Rail has been told to identify savings and to start with the $4.53 million being paid to 12 senior executives," he said. "I have told QR to refocus its business on the delivery of frontline services and reduce the bloated corporate office."

Bundamba MP Jo-Ann Miller asked how cutting staff could lead to providing better services for commuters.

Mrs Miller said the job losses will almost certainly affect the Ipswich line.

"It would have to have an affect on the Ipswich line and it will probably affect the staffing on the new Springfield line," she said.

Rail Back on Track spokesman Robert Dow said the job cuts may not be as high as the figures being touted.

"We are a little bit concerned that they are not getting the full picture.

"There is a duplication of services between TransLink and some of the other operators."


On track for cuts

The salaries of 12 senior QR executives total just over $4.5 million.

2000 jobs represent 30% of the QR work force.

QR employs 60 general managers compared to 20 in Transport and Main Roads.

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